Published by JRP|Ringier. Edited by Rhea Anastas. Text by Martha Buskirk, MaryJo Marks, Catherine Quéloz.
Since the late 1970s, Allan McCollum (born 1944) has addressed the anthropology of art: its distribution, acquisition, display and interpretation. From his first Surrogate Paintings (1978-82) to his Individual Works (1987-89) or recent Shapes Project(since 2005), through his famous series of Plaster Surrogates (begun in 1982), Perpetual Photos (since 1981) and Perfect Vehicles (since 1986), McCollum has revealed art's mechanisms as a status-generating economy. In the 1990s, his “art objects” were replaced by found objects belonging to a situated context and community, in an effort to explore local micro-politics and to develop projects with specific milieus. His use of multiples, of museums and display aesthetics as compositional elements, all stem from this displacement of context. Working with regional museums, heterogeneous audiences, and references going from paleontology to mineralogy, McCollum today has built a truly unique and intriguing body of work that receives its first comprehensive overview in this monograph.